I’m almost embarrassed to admit that the part of my job that involves reporting on many of the most luxurious oceanfront resorts and residential communities in the world comes with a long and luxurious list of perks. However, I wasn’t expecting to be personally escorted through customs like a VIP when I arrived in Barbados. And I wasn’t expecting a gleaming, ice-cold air-conditioned BMW sedan to be waiting to take me to Saint Peter’s Bay on the west coast of this outermost Caribbean island either. But that was only the beginning .

In fact, after the several days I spent in a large residence overlooking the beach at Saint Peter’s Bay, and at nearby Port Ferdinand that boasts elegantly modern villas clustered around a state-of-the-art marina, I felt like I’d discovered a whole new world of Caribbean luxury travel. The fact is, I did…sorta. Turns out, I was one of the first American journalists to visit these two resorts recently that many American boat and beach lovers may have never knew existed. Until now.

Saint Peter’s Bay

Barbados has a rich history as a vacation destination where the exotic and supersonic Concorde made regular round trip flights from London. And while some things may have changed since then. The blue water, white sand, and the warm people of Barbados haven’t. The island’s relatively close proximity to the east coast of the US hasn’t changed either. And when I experienced resort’s spectacular views and great amenities for myself, I felt like I was being let in on a very special secret.

But that’s only part of the story. First off, the villas feature spacious floorplans, full kitchens, enormous balconies, and spa like bathrooms.
And unlike any other medium-sized resort I’ve ever seen, each upper unit is also equipped with what the locals call a “bikini elevator.” By that I mean that each building has an elevator that owners and guests use to access their unit from private parking areas in the back. But each unit also has access to a semi-private “bikini elevator” adjacent to their waterfront patio that provides direct “bikini” access down to the beach and the pool.

The resort also offers excellent dining at the Gazebo Bar and Grill. I was told the staff also organize regular barefoot barbeques so owners and guests can mix, mingle and enjoy the sunset. And of course, not only is the beach equipped with loungers and umbrellas, there’s a fully staffed watersports team that can provide everything from towels and snorkel gear, to helping organize private diving or wakeboard trips, and more. And the “kid’s zone” is also there to help kids have fun (and parents enjoy a little relaxation too).

The only things Saint Peter’s Bay didn’t have were a super-luxe spa and a full-service marina. But that’s okay. All that and more is available at Port Ferdinand just a short drive or water taxi ride away.

Port Ferdinand

A residential resort development like Port Ferdinand is quite rare in the Caribbean for many reasons. First, not too many high-end residential communities in the tropics can offer such spacious, and especially well-built waterfront villas. And none that I know of also come with the private boat dock (for every villa) that can accommodate yachts up to 90-feet-long. The same can be said for the views. Each villa in the community has a view of the marina and a view of the beach and the open ocean that’s just a short walk or boat ride away.

In fact, this could be the ultimate island community for a passionate boat owner. The slips are some of the best-built I’ve ever seen, and the whole marina-based development was brilliantly designed to allow for copious amounts of individual storage on the first/dock level of buildings, and ocean views out over the boats from the villas too.

Meanwhile, owners, guests (and visitors from Saint Peter’s Bay) can enjoy a long list of spa treatments at Port Ferndinand’s Sandbox Tree Spa. The dishes prepared by the rockstar chef of the stylish Dockside at 13/59 restaurant take casual fine dining to the next level. And Nikki Beach Barbados is part of Port Ferdinand too. That means possible for owners and guests to go out for a day of world class fishing in the morning, and then chill with music, dining, dancing and of course, a glass of rosé at Nikki Beach all afternoon.

If I haven’t convinced you just how special these resorts are yet. Maybe this will. I’ve never seen more high quality construction in the tropics…ever. And according to Barbados native Philip Tempro, (the experienced owner and developer of both properties) that’s no accident. He takes great pride in the projects he’s developed on his home island. In fact, he looked me in the eye when he told me that he “builds for the long term,” and that was obvious everywhere I looked.

So, if you’re looking to escape to a place that combines quality construction, natural beauty and top notch amenities, do yourself a favor and book a ticket to Barbados.

For more information, visit stpetersbaybarbados.com and portferdinand.com